ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Etihad Airways celebrated the arrival of its new Airbus A350-1000 in the United States following the inaugural commercial flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on 30 June. The aircraft, which accommodates 371 passengers, is one of five new Airbus A350s to join Etihad’s fleet this year.
All Etihad flights servicing New York and Chicago O’Hare International Airport will be operated by the A350, joining Mumbai and Delhi routes that began flying in April this year.
Etihad passengers travelling to the US have access to Etihad’s US pre-clearance, the only United States Customs and Border Protection facility in the Middle East. This allows passengers bound for the United States to process all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi before they board their flight, avoiding immigration and queues on arrival in the US.
“We are proud to bring the Airbus A350 into service in the US. This is an incredible aircraft with highly efficient fuel consumption and CO2 savings, which enables us to support our goals to reduce carbon emissions and deliver an unmatched flight experience for our guests,” said Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Global Sales and Cargo, Etihad Airways. “By introducing the A350, we have almost doubled premium capacity on our New York and Chicago routes to 44 seats in the Business cabin, which provides a luxurious experience comparable to First Class on other international airlines.”
Formed as a partnership between Etihad, Airbus and Rolls Royce in 2021, the Sustainable50 programme will make use of Etihad's A350s as flying testbeds for new initiatives, procedures and technologies to reduce carbon emissions. This will build on the learnings derived from Etihad's similar Greenliner programme for the Boeing 787 aircraft type.
The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered Airbus A350 is one of the most efficient aircraft types in the world, with 25% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions than previous-generation twin aisle aircraft.
Etihad recently established a formal framework with Airbus to collaborate on sustainability across a number of areas, including the promotion and commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel, waste and weight management, and the development of data-driven analysis.
The aircraft features Etihad’s newest cabin interior, which is inspired by Abu Dhabi and is both more efficient and sustainable in design. Etihad is renowned for high-quality aircraft, and the A350 is filled with thoughtful design details providing exceptional comfort and enhanced privacy.
Etihad’s signature lighting design is inspired by the shadows cast by Abu Dhabi’s palm trees. The cabin lighting emulates natural ambient light and is designed to enhance the guest experience, provide an optimum environment for sleeping and reduce the effects of jetlag. The Airbus A350 also offers the quietest cabin experience for a wide-body aircraft.
Another feature to help reduce light pollution, and therefore jetlag, is the new dark-mode interface on the E-BOX inflight entertainment system. Mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity is also available throughout the aircraft.
Etihad has also thoughtfully created a “Little VIP” experience for its youngest guests. The programme offers newly launched Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi-themed, family-friendly amenities for children. The A350 also has a special new feature, offering interactive flight maps kids can explore with the help of some Jurassic-age friends.
The elevated Business class is home to 44 Business Studios with sliding doors that provide a high level of privacy to each suite. Every seat faces forward with direct aisle access. The Business class seat, with a width of over 20”, converts into a fully-flat bed of 79” in length, and features ample storage for convenience.
Noise-cancelling headphones and an 18.5” TV screen provide a cinematic experience to enjoy Etihad’s extensive inflight entertainment offering. The Business seats cleverly feature a built-in wireless charging dock and Bluetooth headphone pairing.
Business class guests can choose from a carefully curated à la carte menu, and guests on longer flights can enjoy Etihad’s signature ‘dine anytime’ service.
Etihad’s spacious Economy cabin is configured with 327 smart seats in a 3-3-3 arrangement, of which 45 ‘Economy Space’ seats have been enhanced with an additional 4 inches of legroom. The Crystal Cabin Award-winning seats were selected after extensive customer trials by Etihad and based on their comfort and sustainability credentials. The seats feature Etihad’s signature supportive headrest, USB charging and Bluetooth headphone pairing, as well as a 13.3” inch screen to enjoy Etihad’s award-winning inflight entertainment system.
Guests receive blankets and pillows for additional comfort and amenity kits on longer flights, as well as enjoying complimentary dining and beverages served by Etihad’s award-winning cabin crew.